Book Notes: The Hobbit – by J.R.R. Tolkien

the hobbit book notes

Student Notes – The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


The Hobbit, written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in 1937, is a beloved fantasy adventure novel that serves as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, a timid hobbit, as he embarks on a grand quest alongside a group of dwarves to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug. This set of student notes provides a comprehensive overview of the key elements, themes, and characters in The Hobbit, along with analysis and discussion points for further exploration and understanding.


  • Middle-earth: The novel is set in a fantasy world filled with mythical creatures, magical landscapes, and diverse civilizations, including the Shire, Rivendell, and the Lonely Mountain.


  • Bilbo Baggins: The reluctant hero, a hobbit who is thrust into an epic adventure and undergoes personal growth and transformation.
  • Gandalf the Grey: The wise and powerful wizard who guides Bilbo and the dwarves on their quest.
  • Thorin Oakenshield: The leader of the dwarves, determined to reclaim his homeland and restore his people’s honor.
  • Gollum: A mysterious and treacherous creature who possesses the One Ring and engages Bilbo in a game of riddles.
  • Smaug: The formidable and cunning dragon who guards the treasure of the Lonely Mountain.

Plot Summary:

  • The novel follows Bilbo Baggins as he joins a group of dwarves on a perilous journey to the Lonely Mountain to defeat the dragon Smaug and reclaim the dwarves’ homeland and treasure.
  • Along the way, Bilbo encounters various challenges, including encounters with trolls, goblins, and giant spiders.
  • Themes: Heroism and Personal Growth, Courage and Bravery, Friendship and Loyalty, Greed and Temptation, the Power of the Small and Unlikely.

Key Themes and Symbolism:

  • Heroism and Personal Growth: The novel explores the development of Bilbo from a timid and unassuming hobbit into a courageous and resourceful hero.
  • Courage and Bravery: The characters face numerous dangers and must summon courage in the face of adversity.
  • Friendship and Loyalty: The bonds formed among the characters during their quest highlight the importance of loyalty and camaraderie.
  • Greed and Temptation: The lure of the dragon’s treasure tests the characters’ integrity and exposes the destructive nature of greed.
  • The Power of the Small and Unlikely: Bilbo, a small and unassuming hobbit, proves that even the most unlikely heroes can accomplish great deeds.

Analysis and Discussion Points:

  • Analyze Bilbo’s character arc, discussing his growth, inner conflicts, and the factors that contribute to his transformation from a reluctant adventurer to a courageous hero.
  • Discuss the role of Gandalf as a mentor and guide, exploring his wisdom and the influence he has on Bilbo’s journey.
  • Examine the theme of greed and its consequences, analyzing the characters’ motivations and the impact of their desires for wealth and power.
  • Reflect on the significance of the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum, considering its symbolic implications and the themes of wit and intelligence.
  • Explore the connections between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, discussing the foreshadowing and connections between the two works.


The Hobbit is a timeless and enchanting adventure that transports readers to a world of fantasy and heroism. J.R.R. Tolkien’s captivating storytelling, richly imagined landscapes, and memorable characters continue to captivate audiences. By engaging with the student notes provided, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the novel’s themes, characters, and symbolic elements, fostering critical thinking and stimulating insightful discussions about the power of courage, friendship, and the hero’s journey.

Get Paperback or Kindle version of the book <–

The Hobbit book summary